OAPs’ fears over loss of post office at Eldene Centre
5:30am Monday 24th March 2014 in By Elizabeth Mackley
ELDERLY residents in Eldene are concerned about how they will draw their pension when their post office is demolished.
Swindon Council has announced that Eldene Centre will be demolished by November, after issuing a demolition notice for the flats above the shops.
But, with no plans in place to replace the post office, residents fear losing an important lifeline.
Heather Moss, the Post Office manager in Eldene, pictured above with customer David Spurling, said: “There are three care homes around here and elderly people rely on the Post Office to draw out their pensions and their cash.
“People are very upset and concerned about this.”
For some residents like Marlene Davis, adjusting to the change will be a minor inconvenience, but many others will struggle.
The 75-year-old said: “It depends what you use it for, I just use the Post Office to send the odd letter or two but I know some very elderly residents rely on it to draw their pension.
“I hope they do something with it though.”
Pat and David Spurling also have concerns that even if a Post Office service was provided in the new Morrison’s store, some older people would find the distance too far to walk.
Pat, 76, said: “It won’t affect us too much but for some very elderly people I think it’ll be more difficult.
“We are switching to having our pensions put in our bank account anyway, so it won’t bother us too much.
“It can be quite a walk if you’re a bit older and then it’s all uphill on the way back.”
The demolition is part of plans to regenerate the site, but since the council withdrew cash set aside to fund the makeover last year residents have concerns the site will be left empty.
Nearly two years ago, the then council leader Rod Bluh announced that £900,000 would be spent on rejuvenating tired centres such as Covingham Square, Liden, Eldene, Toothill, Freshbrook and Guildford Avenue, in Lawn.
But last year the figure was slashed to £450,00 and Eldene residents were told they would not be receiving any of the cash because they would instead benefit from a Morrison’s superstore.
The new 25,000sq ft Morrison’s store was opened last month to queues of customers eager to see what was on offer.
A record number of jobseekers applied for the store’s 220 new roles.
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